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Charcuterie Questions: Guanciale & Ham


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Charcuterie Questions: Guanciale & Ham

jljohn | | Mar 8, 2013 05:49 AM


I've recently purchased a pig and I'm starting to learn the basics of curing. My first stab at it is making guanciale from a jowl. Ruhlman's book instructs me to hang it in a "cool dry place." For those of you with more experience in such things, are we talking about hanging it from the ceiling of my 60-62 degree basement/storage unit or from a rack in the fridge in the 30's? I'm guessing that the ideal is somewhere in between, but is 60 degrees too warm? if so, should I use the fridge and let it hang longer? (It's been four days in the cure in the fridge, so I'm probably 2-4 days from hanging it.)

Regarding curing ham. I wasn't thinking too much about curing the ham when I had the pig processed, so I had the fresh hams cut up and packaged in 5 lb roasts, but most curing recipes call for the whole ham. Can I still cure a ham that has been processed like this. If so, it would be great in that I could try several styles of ham and different curing techniques and not worry about losing a whole ham if it doesn't work!

On a final note, bacon, salt pork, lardo, and maybe pancetta are on the menu for the near future, so if you have advice on any of those, I'd sure appreciate it!

Thanks so much--I appreciate any help!